I recently saw a blurb about a helpful site, HomeSmartReports.com, which allows the user, for free, to enter a zip code and find what risk level that real estate market is in. A more detailed report is available for purchase. Check it out.
Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate News’
Posted in Positive Economic News, Real Estate News, tagged Housing Affordability Index, Lawrence Yun, NAR, Pending Home Sales, RE MAX, RE MAX Allegiance, RE/MAX, RE/MAX Allegiance, Real Estate News on February 5, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
Pending home sales increased as more buyers took advantage of improved affordability conditions, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Big gains in the South and Midwest offset modest declines in other regions.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in December, rose 6.3 percent to 87.7 from an upwardly revised reading of 82.5 in November, and is 2.1 percent higher than December 2007 when it was 85.9.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the index shows a modest rebound. “The monthly gain in pending home sales, spurred by buyers responding to lower home prices and mortgage interest rates, more than offset an index decline in the previous month,” says Yun. “The biggest gains were in areas with the biggest improvements in affordability.”
NAR’s Housing Affordability index rose 10.9 percent in December to 158.8, the highest on record.2 The HAI shows that the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income is the most favorable since tracking began in 1970.
“Significant uncertainty still clouds the housing market despite improved affordability conditions. For a sustainable housing market recovery and, hence, sustainable economic recovery, we need a significant housing stimulus and mortgage availability for qualified borrowers,” adds Yun.
The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 1.7 percent to 62.1 in December and is 14.5 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index jumped 12.8 percent to 83.7 but remains 1.2 percent below December 2007. The index in the South surged 13.0 percent to 96.8 in December and is 1.6 percent above a year ago. In the West, the index fell 3.7 percent to 97.5 but remains 17.5 percent higher than December 2007.
NAR President Charles McMillan, says the rise in contract signings is encouraging. “However, housing activity remains weak compared with potential demand, and the market is fragile given the economic backdrop,” he said.
“We can’t take our eye off the need to stimulate housing, which can set the foundation for an economic recovery,” McMillan says. “Last week’s actions in the House to eliminate the repayment feature on the first-time home buyer tax credit, and to raise mortgage loan limits, are helpful. However, we need to take additional steps to meaningfully draw down inventory and stabilize home prices.”
McMillan says some enhancements that could bring more buyers into the market include expanding the $7,500 tax credit to all home buyers and extending it until the end of 2009, and making loan limit increases permanent. “We also need to direct funds in the Troubled Asset Relief Program to add liquidity to the mortgage market, buy down mortgage interest rates and increase other forms of credit,” he says
Yun says the outlook for housing and the economy is murky. “Although Congress and the Obama administration are taking steps to help the economy, the stimulus package must deal with the root cause of the economic downturn, and apply the right fix to turn it around. If housing is ignored, a significant downward overshooting of home prices would continue to drag the economy down independent of the scale of the stimulus,” Yun says.
The decline in residential property prices appears to be slowing, according to preliminary data from First American CoreLogic.
A preview of its November report shows that home prices fell 9.6 percent last month, compared with 10.4 percent in October and 11.2 percent in September.
“The consistent deceleration over the past two months with November indicating the same trend in price declines is encouraging because it could portend the trough in price declines,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic.
Still, layoffs and the swollen supply of unsold homes remain a concern, he notes.
The number of unsold new homes fell 34k in November, the most ever. There are now 372k unsold new homes for sale, significantly below the peak of 570k in June 2006.
The level is approaching normal. The supply problem is in the existing home market. It lags but it’s next: the underbuilding of homes relative to population growth will inevitably result in the filling up of those homes, whether through sale or rental–humans need shelter. I would expect inventories to decline at least 500k to 750k in 2009 because of the population/underbuilding issue. At least 500k will disappear from the underbuilding idea and a further 250k (at least) will result from low mortgage rates and incentives from Barack Obama to spur home buying (4.5% mortgages or tax credits or both).
The math on why this is happening is simple: the construction of new homes has fallen below that of household formation. Housing starts have recently been at about 600k annualized, which works out to about 400k new dwellings, because many new starts are restarts–tear downs and such. Birth statistics and Census Bureau data indicate that household formation will on average run at a pace of about 1.2 million in the current year and immediate years ahead, owing to population growth of about 3.0 million.
This means that home inventories–new and existing combined–could fall by at 600k over the next year, depending on the extent of household formation (it slows during recessions, although it is only a delay in the inevitable–kids won’t live home with their parents forever and roommates go their separate ways, eventually). Shelter is obviously a basic need, which makes the inventory call a bankable top-down theme for 2009.
Chief Bond Market Strategist
Miller Tabak + Co
Real estate professionals are encouraged to forge new relationships to generate business, but they should not forget past clients, as research shows the 20-year value of a client tops $93,000 on average. As that is an average, in many of our markets, that number is much higher.
What are YOU doing to continue your relationship with past clients? Whether it be a Buffini CAP program, a mailing you do every month or the monthly calendar that Creative Services can design and mail for you, I hope you’re doing something. If your marketing plan to these past clients is not monthly, you’re most likely not contacting them enough.
Posted in Allegiance Stats, Market Stats, Positive Economic News, Real Estate News, Selling Info, Uncategorized, Winners, tagged Alexandria Real Estate, Arlington Real Estate, Blacksburg Real Estate, DC House Appreciation, DC Real Estate, Fairfax Real Estate, Federal Financing Finance Agency, FHA Loans, Fredericksburg Real Estate, Good Economic News, Harrisonburg Real Estate, Housing Market, Housing Market Stats, Housing Price Appreciation, Housing Price Appreciation by State, Housing Stats, Housng Sales, Interest Rates, Maryland House Appreciation, Maryland Real Estate, Northern Virginia Real Estate, Positive Economic News, RE/MAX, RE/MAX Allegiance, Real Estate News, Richmond Real Estate, Roanoke Real Estate, VHDA Loans, Virginia House Appreication on December 11, 2008 | 1 Comment »
Interest rates are at 4.5 year lows. Financing is available with little or no money down. Inventory is high with builders and sellers willing to negotiate. A good time to buy? I think so! Worried about appreciation? You should not be as long as you’re looking at your home purchase as a long term investment (not to mention the warm shelter it brings from the elements and tax breaks too). Appreciation in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia has consistently out-gained the national average. Time to get off the fence!
House Price Appreciation by State
Five Year Appreciation
Percent Change in House Prices Period Ended September 30, 2008
source: Federal Financing Finance Agency
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Apollo Management, Carl Icahn, Cendant, Century 21 Debt, Coldwell Banker Debt, ERA Debt, High River, Real Estate News, Realogy Debt, Realogy Finances on December 8, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
Real estate brokerage Realogy sought to skirt defaults on some of its bonds by launching a debt exchange but Carl Icahn’s venture-capital firm, High River, threw a wrench in its plans by slapping Realogy with a lawsuit and accusing it of delaying the inevitable.
High River, which owns some of Realogy’s senior bonds, alleges the repayment of its securities would be unfairly delayed under the debt deal announced last month since it may give new debtholders certain benefits such as moving them up on the repayment list if Realogy goes bankrupt.
Realogy, which owns brokerages Century 21, ERA and Coldwell Banker, planned to exchange $1.1 billion worth of bonds for new securities of roughly half of their value under the offering. The company is owned by Leon Black’s private-equity firm, Apollo Management, which acquired the sucessor company to Cendant for $9.0 billion two years ago.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated Tewsday, the real estate company said as of the close of business on Nov. 26, it had received $237.1 million total aggregate principal amount of commitments for the second-lien incremental term loans, which will be due in 2014 and 2015. If no other commitments are received, the company’s outstanding debt would be reduced to $286.0 million, upon fulfilling the invitations, the filing said.
The filing also mentions the litigation brought by High River, which alleged the new loans breach terms of Realogy’s senior toggle notes contract.
“The company believes that the allegations contained in the complaint are without merit and intends to vigorously defend this action,” Realogy said in the filing, adding that it believes the incurrence of the new loans are allowed under the senior toggle note contract and credit agreements.
Interestingly, the filing says that Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee charged with monitoring the notes, last month told Realogy that it did not think the offer complies with the terms of the securities. It wasn’t clear if the objection was the same one that Icahn made, and the filing did not say if Realogy replied or if it disagreed.
Icahn, who considers his fellow billionaire Black a friend, downplayed personal aspects of the lawsuit during a television interview. The activist investor said that given current market conditions, bankruptcies are unavoidable and that companies aren’t helping anyone by prolonging the inevitable.
In the first minute of the Oct. 29 episode of Comedy Central’s highly rated “The Colbert Report,” Emmy-winning writer and comedic pundit Stephen Colbert declares support for “President RE/MAX.”
Watch the show’s intro. The show begins after a 30-second commercial.
It’s safe to say that RE/MAX received the “Colbert Bump” – a tongue-in-cheek term that Colbert uses to represent the benefits of being featured on his show – when the host noted the prominence of RE/MAX.
“I don’t pay attention to polls, I just count lawn signs,” Colbert says. “So get ready for President RE/MAX.”
Colbert’s mention of RE/MAX is unsolicited confirmation of what we’ve always known: Nobody has more yards signs, more sign calls, more referrals, more sold signs. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX.